Leadership: zoning causes problem in House of Reps
Another leadership crisis may be looming in the House of Representatives as some of the All Progressives Congress members-elect have disagreed with the party’s alleged choice of Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker.
The leadership of the APC has reportedly zoned the post to the South-West and has allegedly settled for Gbajabiamila from Lagos State
However, one of the 16 Reps seeking to succeed Speaker Yakubu Dogara in the 9th National Assembly, told Saturday PUNCH on condition of anonymity on Friday that he would oppose the ruling party’s favourite if supported by Peoples Democratic Party’s lawmakers.
The lawmaker said he might work with the opposition if his party did not manage the zoning and selection process properly.
He said, “If I were the party chairman, I would invite those aspiring for the position and ask them to tell us how the party should go about it. But if he continues to threaten us with fire and brimstone, it won’t work.
“I am prepared to go against the party but I am also being careful. If I see the zoning formula and I look at the reactions of people to the zoning, and if PDP offers to support me with their block vote, I am ready to call the party’s bluff.”
Meanwhile, another aspirant from Niger State, Mr Umar Bago, has called on the APC to zone the position to the North-Central.
Bago, who declared his ambition on Sunday, decried that North-Central had yet to get the post since 1999.
He asked, “When will the North-Central receive attention in the Green Chamber after 20 years?”
Another aspirant, Mr Abdulrazak Namdas (Bauchi), however called on the APC to consider the North-East for the leadership of the House.
Namdas, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, said the ruling party could only manage the struggle for leadership in the House if it zoned the Speaker seat to the North-Central that had never produced one.
When asked if the zoning formula to be released by the APC could prevent crisis in the chamber, Namdas said, “If the party can pick the Speaker from the South-West, it means the Number 2 (vice-president) and Number 4 are from one zone. Therefore, there should be nothing wrong with having Number 3 (Senate President) and Number 4 from the North-East.
“However, if it is taken to a neutral zone like the North-Central that has never produced a speaker or deputy speaker, we can reconsider ourselves. But if it is taken to the South-West, it will also not be out of place for the North-East to have both the Senate president and the speaker.”
Meanwhile, 16 Reps-elect are jostling from across the six geopolitical zones for the position of the speaker which the party has endorsed Gbajabiamila to occupy